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I could really use some advice on how to play catch up with my oldest son...We are starting 5th on Monday, and when I look at the amount of work we have to do to catch up, it is very discouraging...It seems like he will homeschool until he is 20 to get all of this done!...

 

I know it is possible to catch up, I'm just not sure where to begin...Everytime I take for granted that he know something, he doesn't know what I thought he knew...My DH said to me last night, "He is so far behind and really doesn't know anything"...

 

Any advice on what is essential, what can wait for later, or if anyone has been successful at catching up, I am all ears :bigear:

 

Thanks in advance...

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Any advice on what is essential, what can wait for later, or if anyone has been successful at catching up, I am all ears.

 

Have not been in the catch up situation, but the things I would consider essential are reading, writing, and math.

Is he reading fluently with good comprehension?

Can he write, with reasonable spelling and coherent sentences?

Can he add, subtract and know his times tables?

 

These would be my absolutely first priority.

If he can read well, he will be able to learn about history and science.

If he can write, you can work on spelling, grammar and good writing.

 

If you feel he is very behind in these essential skills and you need all available time to catch up, I would not do Latin or Logic. (To be honest: as much as I find Latin a cool thing, on can be an educated and successful person without any Latin- but one can't with inadequate reading and writing skills.)

As for science and history: you can incorporate them in a relaxed way, read books and watch documentaries - no need for drilling facts or dates.

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Have not been in the catch up situation, but the things I would consider essential are reading, writing, and math.

Is he reading fluently with good comprehension?

Can he write, with reasonable spelling and coherent sentences?

Can he add, subtract and know his times tables?

 

These would be my absolutely first priority.

If he can read well, he will be able to learn about history and science.

If he can write, you can work on spelling, grammar and good writing.

 

If you feel he is very behind in these essential skills and you need all available time to catch up, I would not do Latin or Logic. (To be honest: as much as I find Latin a cool thing, on can be an educated and successful person without any Latin- but one can't with inadequate reading and writing skills.)

As for science and history: you can incorporate them in a relaxed way, read books and watch documentaries - no need for drilling facts or dates.

:iagree:

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Well, what do you exect him to know? How do you know he is behind? What does behind mean to you? How does this manifest in his life? What are you using to judge his 'behind-ness'? Does he seem like a typical 10 year old or do you suspect learning difficulties?

 

If he is behind in content areas: history, grammar, that sort of thing, I wouldn't sweat it for a moment. Content can always be learned. No one knows it all. My kid is on his second time around the history cycle. He adores history but he can't spout off dates or anything like that. Maybe start a year behind.

 

If your son seems behind in skill areas such as math or physical writing (as opposed to composition) then I would focus on that in a gentle fashion. I would just meet him where he is at. You can't do anything to yank him up to a 5th grade level. If he is having difficulty due to prior lack of instruction, then he will catch up quickly. If he is 'behind' because the subject matter or learning is difficult, then you can't force it anyway so don't worry.

 

If it is a learning problem, then I would focus my energies on figuring out what his strengths are and focus on those. I would find ways to teach those areas that are more difficult in ways he can understand. I would talk to other homeschooling moms who have kids with similar learning styles.

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Have not been in the catch up situation, but the things I would consider essential are reading, writing, and math.

Is he reading fluently with good comprehension?

Can he write, with reasonable spelling and coherent sentences?

Can he add, subtract and know his times tables?

 

These would be my absolutely first priority.

If he can read well, he will be able to learn about history and science.

If he can write, you can work on spelling, grammar and good writing.

 

If you feel he is very behind in these essential skills and you need all available time to catch up, I would not do Latin or Logic. (To be honest: as much as I find Latin a cool thing, on can be an educated and successful person without any Latin- but one can't with inadequate reading and writing skills.)

As for science and history: you can incorporate them in a relaxed way, read books and watch documentaries - no need for drilling facts or dates.

:iagree:

 

Have you read Trivium Pursuit's Ten Things to do with Your Child before Ten? It is a description of another base for a classical education.

 

You are transitioning to a WTM Classical Ed from a Waldorf philosophy? I hope I understand this correct! You do not have to cover everything in the WTM from ages 5-10. Start him where you think he should be by his age and if it is too much of a stretch for him , just step back a little.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about Latin and Logic if he needs this year to develop a base in grammar, writing, or spelling. If you choose a WTM recommendation for 5th grade in grammar/writing/spelling and it seems like it is overly difficult , either slow it down or choose a 4th grade recommendation for this year. He will still get all the grammar/writing/spelling that he needs before he graduates. Focus on skill subjects (grammar/writing/spelling/math) and once you have the resources in place for those subjects then worry about content subjects (history/science/finearts).

 

10yo are the perfect age to transition to a classical ed model without too much difficulty. He can easily "catch up". He really isn't that far behind.

 

Best of luck, mama!

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Our kids are almost the same ages - I have DS10, DS7, DD4.

 

I checked out your blog and see you're switching over to WTM. I wouldn't say you're behind, you're just in a different place. :001_smile:

 

Did you do a placement test for WWE to see where he places? WWE can be compressed depending on which level you are starting with.

 

We don't do as much art and music so we have time to work on skills. Music is listening to our new Classical Music for Kids CDs which the boys really enjoy. Art is farmed out and art appreciation as it comes up.

 

I didn't start HSing my DS10 until 3rd grade so I've been trying to catch up since then....it's easier to think of just starting from where you are......

 

I know this is incoherent, my 4yr old keeps interrupting. I'm in the midst of feeling overwhelmed at the moment as I was supposed to spend this week doing HS plans and it's already Saturday and it didn't get done. Sigh....

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I probably shouldn't post here, as my little guy is in 4th this year. But I agree with spending time to focus on skills. We've done that this whole last semester, and I can really see a difference. It doesn't matter if the history or science fall to the wayside for now---make sure he can read well, write well, and work in arithmetic very close to grade level.

 

My other children are grown now, (attended a brick and mortar school), and I wish I could have had the time to slow things a bit and get those skills nailed down before they moved on. Unfortunately that didn't happen, so I'm learning from that and trying something different for this child.

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My oldest is dyslexic and he was "behind" for most of his early elementary years. Now, as an 8th grader, he is all "caught up".

 

I'm using the scare quotes around behind and caught up because these are such relative terms.

 

I agree with the prior posters who suggested focusing on core skills. Reading, writing, and math are the door ways to the other subjects. You might be surprised at how quickly a stuggling student catches up once these primarly skills are in place.

 

So, can you ds read well? If not, pause all other subjects and work with intensity for as long as necessary on reading skills. Can he write a coherent sentence and/or paragraph? How are his basic math skills? These should be your focus. As you're working consistently on these skills, you can approach content stuff (history, science, literture) through read alouds, audio books, field trips, hands on activites, museum trips.

 

Just because you're pursuing a classical education it doesn't mean that your child needs to measure up to some rigid measurement of grade level.

 

It may seem like a contradiction but you need to work hard and then relax. :001_smile:

Edited by Stacy in NJ
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I wouldn't say you're behind, you're just in a different place. :001_smile:

 

[snip]...it's easier to think of just starting from where you are......

 

 

:iagree: to the above and to all the advice offered so far.

 

I switched to a more WTM approach when my oldest was in 5th. We worked on skills, as everyone has suggested, focusing on writing and just continuing on with math and reading for pleasure. His writing, btw, was atrocious at 5th grade. Between slowly working on the basics through dictation and narration, and through his desire to write e-mails to Grandma and friends, he became a fluent writer. Took a few years, but he writes well now. He read independently, but I read aloud or we listened together to audio books all the way through high school. Some books I assigned because I wanted to cover a time period or science topic, but most were for pleasure. Reading aloud, or an audio book, allows your child a chance to experience some classics long before they are ready to read them independently. It helps your child get used to the syntax and style of older literature. And there are just some great old books.

 

So don't worry about catching up, (and be forewarned that there will be a time when your ds is 13 or so that he will seem to have no higher brain functions). Focus on the skills -- don't stress over them, just make like the tortoise and go slow and steady. And enjoy the content through books, documentaries and museums or other real world opportunities.

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Have not been in the catch up situation, but the things I would consider essential are reading, writing, and math.

Is he reading fluently with good comprehension?

Can he write, with reasonable spelling and coherent sentences?

Can he add, subtract and know his times tables?

 

These would be my absolutely first priority.

If he can read well, he will be able to learn about history and science.

If he can write, you can work on spelling, grammar and good writing.

 

If you feel he is very behind in these essential skills and you need all available time to catch up, I would not do Latin or Logic. (To be honest: as much as I find Latin a cool thing, on can be an educated and successful person without any Latin- but one can't with inadequate reading and writing skills.)

As for science and history: you can incorporate them in a relaxed way, read books and watch documentaries - no need for drilling facts or dates.

 

I would have to answer no to all of the above questions...He can read, but slowly and does not have great comprehension...He was reading "Stuart Little" and having a hard time with understanding everything...He can think of something to write, but the spelling and grammar is all over the place...He can add and subtract, but didn't do well with carrying and borrowing, and it is hit or miss with knowing the times tables...

 

I feel like he hasn't learned much...We are switching from a Waldorf background, where early learning is greatly discouraged...I did not provide him with a lot of instruction on these skills...He went to school for first grade, and was home second and third...

 

It is possible that he has auditory processing issues...We are not sure...His teacher at his old school mentioned this to us, but she was not sure...

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I would have to answer no to all of the above questions......He can add and subtract, but didn't do well with carrying and borrowing, and it is hit or miss with knowing the times tables...

 

 

 

I would back up to at least MM 3 if I were you. Due to a number of reasons and decisions on my part, my oldest (who is 4th grade) didn't really do much in the way of formal math until this year, and we started with 3A. It has been so worth it! She has been working hard and the plan is to get through 4B by the end of this summer, but we'll see. We'll just keep plugging away, making sure she really gets everything and see where we end up by next September. If we only complete up to 4A, then in September we'll start 4B and plan to complete 5B by the end of that summer.

 

I have also purchased downloads of certain topics from math mammoth to start at the beginning (embarrassed to admit that she didn't know how to tell time at all), and we quickly went through that material......she went through all of it in a week. If 3A seems too difficult, back up further. It's better to make sure you get the basics down and have him experience a sense of accomplishment I think than to flounder around with stuff that is too hard. Maybe you could buy the MM dark blue subject for addition/subtraction and work your way through that first, then do the multiplication subject? If you just print the pages out for him, he doesn't necessarily even need to know which "grade level" he's doing if that will bother him.

 

Anyway, good luck to you, and try not to stress too much. :grouphug:

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I agree that "behind" and "caught up" are pretty relative terms. "Behind" compared to what, anyway? Maybe it's best not to compare... to continue with the basics with him, along with things of interest to him, and let him develop in his own way, at his pace, in whatever way best suits him.

 

And "not caught up" with what? I mean YOU get to decide how much work he has to do and you don't have to feel like you have to do too much busywork or too many different subjects or multiple versions of a given subject... again, stick with the basics, go at his pace, follow his interests as best you can, and try not to stress too much.

 

If he's making progress along his OWN timeline (forget about anyone else's), then that's good.

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Bless your heart. :grouphug:

 

First I would check into the auditory processing issues if possible. Then you can move on to getting him back on track.

 

As far as writing goes, it looks like you're using WWE, right? That's a great program, but you may need to spend more time with him to help him get those first words on the paper. We use a large dry-erase board I bought from Lowe's (or Home Depot---it's shower board, I think). You can get that larger board cut into 2 pieces for easier use. Get some dry-erase markers in different colors and you can do so much with just this.

 

I printed the story starters at Chateau Meddybemps website for fun.

http://www.meddybemps.com/9.700.html

 

Start off with simple sentences--subject, verb--then add in some adjectives and move on from there. He will have fun telling the story, and you can write it down for him on the big dry-erase board for him to see. He will feel better when he sees how the story is progressing. Alternate sentences in the story with him---you write one, then he writes one. When you're finished, let him copy this onto a piece of notebook paper and file it away in the writing section. (This will help him with punctuation and spelling.)

 

I would go back over phonogram work for spelling. Elizabeth B has a great way to use Webster's Speller on her site. I can't find it just now, but search for Webster's on this board, and it should pop up. (I think Phonics Pathways is free online now, or you might find a copy at your library. That would give you something else to work with if the Webster's doesn't.)

 

Spend some time each day with simple sentences and let him build up his speed with making them more complex. It's always hard to get those first words on the paper, but the more comfortable he gets, the easier it is.

 

For math, I would go back to the point at which he is uncomfortable, and go from there. Work those kinds of problems on the dry-erase board, and let him be an active participant in working those on the board. I wonder if it might be worthwhile to get a few of those cheapie workbooks at Walmart or where ever. For math troubles, I usually link to Cathy Duffy's run-down of things to cover without a text.

 

http://cathyduffyreviews.com/math/working_without_text_article.htm

You could go over all the topics on the list at this link, then move forward into more difficult problems. I would go that route before buying another math program and spending money on something that may or may not work. You really can't beat spending time working one-on-one with him to get those basics down. That will be time well spent! The only thing I really like for manipulatives that are worth the $ is a set of Cuisenaire rods. Those are so fun and the math exploration factor is definitely there. (Now that I think of it, maybe Miquon would be a good fit for him.)

 

As far as carrying and borrowing, try to get away from using those terms, and use the terms *build-up a ten* and *break down a ten*. Those terms are more realistic to what is actually happening, as you never really "repay" what is borrowed in math---KWIM?

 

Let him read out loud to you several days a week. Again, you can alternate reading sentences in whatever book you're using.

 

For comprehension, start with shorter pieces like Aesop's fables, or some of the Ambleside Online Year 0's books. Make sure he follows storylines well and can narrate before moving onto harder things. That's just my opinion, but backing him up in order to get him forward to me just makes sense. Get those skills nailed down first. There's really no way to jump ahead quickly, and the time you spend with him, again, is golden.

 

I would keep on with the Latin. It's good for grammar too, and might help him with some connections to English grammar. Above all, read aloud each day from many different kinds of books. That helps so much in language building skills, and it's free!

 

Best wishes to you, and here's another :grouphug: for you. You can help him get there, and he's so lucky to have a caring, loving mother who can help him during this time.

Edited by Poke Salad Annie
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First and foremost, don't stress over it! :) I decided before this school year started to take my dd, who is 10, back what I considered several years in Math and I am soooo glad I did. Having the basic facts completely down and fully understanding basic concepts of multiplying/dividing/borrowing/carrying is absolutely necessary before moving on in Math. She was frustrated and confused and just not getting Math. I bought base ten blocks and place value discs for manipulatives. These have helped a lot. We are using Singapore 3A/3B and it is great! I also use Miquon and the free MEP Math year 2 for review and to show different approaches. I just pull these out as I want. I bought the pdf files of Miquon from CurrClick and told myself I have three kids who will be able to use it so it is worth it even though I am only picking and choosing from it right now. There is a video on Math Mammoth showing structured drill for multiplication and this is the process we are currently using for multiplication facts and it is working where many other ways have failed. I'm super happy that she is making so much progress and she no longer hates Math! :)

 

As for reading, I advise to read, read, read to gain fluency. I would set him a goal of reading one chapter or 10 pages from a book each school day. Preferably a book below his current reading level. Something easy, something fun. Bunnicula, Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, books he would read for pleasure. This will give him confidence, the ease will gain him fluency. Also read to him at his level and above his level, books like Time Cat and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Lastly have him read aloud to you at least a paragraph a day from a book either below his level or at his level. This will help you see progress and also help him work on being able to read aloud more fluently. This can be from his required chapter or from the book you are reading aloud to him, just ask him to read a paragraph to you.

 

For writing definitely give WWE a good try. The beauty of the program is the shortness and simplicity. You are there watching as he writes to guide him, to keep him from completing mistakes and gaining bad habits.

 

I can't speak much about Spelling, but we are using Sequential Spelling and loving it. I'm not sure if it would be the best choice for a struggling speller, because both of my children spell well. I do recommend it though. It is short and sweet and easy to implement. I like that the children immediately self correct if they do make a spelling mistake. I know a lot of people use All About Spelling so maybe that would be something to look into.

 

If you want links to anything I mentioned just ask, it would be my pleasure! :)

 

And I agree with others that Logic and Latin can definitely be put on hold until the 3 R's are solid as rock. Latin and Logic just aren't as important for the Grammar Stage. I would do Latin roots before Latin language at this point if I were you, or nothing at all.

Edited by ThreeBlessings
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I don't have any kernels of wisdom but I just wanted to offer you some encouragement.

 

I am pretty sure dd11 has discalculia so we will be going from trying to stay on grade level with 6th grade work all the way back to 2nd grade level in MM. This was really hard for her to swallow at first but I have been talking to her about it all through Dec. and now she is actually happy about it. She said she feels relieved that the pressure is off to do work she knew she wasn't able to do. One thing that really helped me with the whole "being at grade level" thing was to disregard grade level all together and base their learning on what skills they needed to be proficient in to enter logic stage (regardless of how old they were) and what they needed to enter rhetoric stage, and what they needed to have accomplished to graduate. Looking at it this way is so much easier than trying to keep them at a certain grade level just because that is what grade they should be in due to their age. Dd11 is considered 6th grade for recording purposes but is all over the place in skill level.

 

Hang in there and take it slow and steady and I'll bet by the time he is ready for 9th he will be all caught up!

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I know it can be discouraging when you feel you are falling behind. I have had the same problem this year with my dd. I think there is something about the ages from 10-13 that cause parents to panic. You worry about high school and them being out in the world on their own. I had to remind myself that my dd was not going to be 18 and on her own tomorrow.

 

You still have plenty of time to work on weaknesses and learn the basics really well.

 

One year, when my dd was around 10, we spent almost all year just learning multiplication tables for math, it took that long for them to sink in, but it was worth it the next year when we were able to move on to multiplying bigger problems, multiplying fractions, etc.

 

I think my dd is still behind a little in math, but I am more concerned with her understanding the math really well, so we take our time.

 

I would recommend just starting exactly where you need to be and don't put too much pressure on the child to catch up.

 

For reading, I would just read lots of books in all subjects. My dd happens to like science books a lot so often she prefers those instead of chapter books, but there are a lot of fun chapter books as well. My daughter really loved the Bunnicula series and the Poppy series. When she was younger, I even let her read the Scooby Doo chapter books.

 

For math, we are using the Key To books, but if you need to start on lower math skills like basic multiplication then I would suggest Math Mammoth.

 

For spelling, we are using Soaring with Spelling and Vocabulary (really love this one), but others that may be good for remediation include All About Spelling or Sequential Spelling.

 

For writing this year, we have been using a combination of Writing Apprentice and Igniting Your Writing. They have pretty fun writing exercises that are not overwhelming.

 

Hope this helps.

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I was just listening to SWB's Great Books MP3 again last night. In it she mentions the 5th grade reading slump. She feels for many kids it is due to a lack of phonics skills. That is the point the words get longer and you need those decoding skills. If your DS reads aloud to you, is he pronouncing most of the words correctly? SWB's recommendation at this age is to either do phonics or turn a spelling program into a phonics program.

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You have gotten some great advice.

 

I don't think that there is such a thing as catch up in homeschooling. We always think that we are behind. We are really right where we need to be. Just to tell you, the first post asking can he read, write, and do math? Those are the essentials to anything. Push everything aside and concentrate on those basic foundations to education. Nothing else is important. You are fully aware from the others that those three are the most important.

 

Maybe go over some phonics and basic spelling. I usually am not a fan of spelling with it rules, but a spelling program that focus is on the phonics would help. When a child at your son's age is struggling to read, then have him work on spelling along with phonics, but without the spelling rules. For example, the rule "i" before "e" except after "c" is confusing because you have words like "ancient" and "efficient." They do not follow that rule. However a good phonics program will teach the child that words with "shun" and "shent" sounds are spelled "cion" and "cient." My son won the spelling bee remembering that phonics rule. Have him read chapter books like Magic School Bus chapter books.

 

I think Spelling Power offers spelling that way. I use to use Sing, Spell, Read, and Write for my younger son. Is that still around? The phonics program that I used for my older son was not so hot. I would not recommend that.

 

Remember, make sure he knows the basics. Everything else he will get caught up with himself. He will automatically "catch up."

 

Blessings in your homeschooling journey!

 

Sincerely,

Karen

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/testimony

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For example, the rule "i" before "e" except after "c" is confusing because you have words like "ancient" and "efficient." They do not follow that rule.

 

I had to laugh at this because I always think of that rule, "i" before "e" except after "c", and know how to spell "ancient" and "efficient", but never even realized it doesn't follow that rule!...It's funny how you take things for granted and don't even notice some things...

 

We restarted working again today...We had a long day, but got through it...

 

Thanks so much again for all of this great advice...We are focusing on the eesentials and starting where he is instead of trying to get him ahead...We still did our MOH and Elemental Science, but we spent more time on our Rod and Staff remedial workbook and MM Blue Series...I bought the ones (MM Blue) that covers the things he still has trouble with...We are also going through Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading to fill in the phonics gaps...We did copywork from the science book...

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I was listening to Andrew Pudewa speak yesterday on the DVD Spelling and the Brain.

 

It was fascinating listening him to get a little OT and speak about boys.

 

Sometimes boys ARE developmentally with the peers... And by this I mean their language gifted peers... The girls.

 

But more often than not, there is a year or two delay. It isn't that they aren't going to get to Destination X. It's that it is going to take longer.

 

My oldest is a girl. She is very academically bent. So when my second, our son didn't read on time, I was alarmed. Worse than that - he didn't read until almost nine. Or at least not more than three letter words. By ten he was reading chapter books. Phew! I was getting REALLY concerned.

 

He's now almost 12. He's finished The Hobbit for the second time this year. He can easily read well above his age level NOW.

 

What did we do? Nothing. He needed time to catch up. His ability simply wasn't there.

 

I can't agree enough with the person who linked you to the Ten Things to do Before Age Ten article. Read to him. Read to him constantly.

 

Christian only really began to work on writing THIS year. After all, how does someone write when they struggle so much with reading? Imagine that! Think if you were trying to write a paper in French but you didn't even know how to READ French?!

 

So what did we actually do? Lots of language coming in auditorily - books on tape, reading aloud. We set aside times to read and enforced it. It was never a disciplinary issue as I wanted him to LOVE reading so we "arranged" (manipulated) it so that it was beneficial to read.

 

In our house, you read or nap - for 1-2 hours per day. And once you can read you get a reading lamp for your room. Once you can read chapter books you're allowed to read for an extra hour at night after the other kids go to bed. You can see how reading was something to WANT to do rather than be forced to do it! :)

 

Once he was reading smoothly and easily we began a writing program. For us, IEW is a very good fit for this child. Why? Because it doesn't require creativity. It gives the child a set form and skills. Writing is like painting. You can't give a child a bunch of brushes, paper, and watercolors and say, "Go. Create a masterpiece." First you must give him skills... Teach him his medium, show him what each brush does. Have him copy other art. Learn about art. THEN and only then can he CREATE. He simply isn't prepared to write before that. PLUS, Andrew Pudewa works hard to make sure you understand to keep Writing VERY separate from Spelling *and* Grammar.

 

Christian is using Spelling Workout right now, but NOT the way it's intended.

 

If I were going to suggest one resource to purchase it would be the Spelling & the Brain DVD.

 

http://www.excellenceinwriting.com/catalog/excellence-spelling-phonetic-zoo'>http://www.excellenceinwriting.com/catalog/excellence-spelling-phonetic-zoo'>http://www.excellenceinwriting.com/catalog/excellence-spelling-phonetic-zoo'>http://www.excellenceinwriting.com/catalog/excellence-spelling-phonetic-zoo

 

Ana was a natural speller. Every curriculum we ever tried worked. I assumed it was great curriculum and she was a good reader. Now I have a boy who is a great reader (finally) but an awful speller. What?! He was using Spelling Workout just like Ana. It left me confused. I've listened to the DVD twice now.

 

http://www.excellenceinwriting.com/catalog/excellence-spelling-phonetic-zoo

 

Do you need to use his whole program? Nope. You can use the WAY he teaches (from the DVD) from an inexpensive program or you can go with his. Either way I suggest you listen to that DVD.

 

Bottom line? Start where he's at... Not where you'd like him to be. Chances are good he needs a little more time to cook yet. He's just not fully baked. But when he does, hold on! I think CJ flew through two grade levels in six months. I wish I had known this was going to happen through 3rd - 5th grade. It would have saved me a lot of worry! :glare:

 

Feel free to do a lot of this verbally - reading aloud, spelling out loud, drill. :)

 

The other thing I really believe helped us was SWB's suggestion to limit his library checkouts. We didn't allow junk like Capt'n Underpants, but I did allow some soft stuff. :) But we limited fiction and encouraged biographies, history, science - even if it was a level below his ability. It is GOOD to challenge them. It also good for them to read at a level below to encourage comprehension and reading enjoyment. Think of the books you read for enjoyment. Generally they are EASY for you to read. You don't have to put huge effort into deciphering the words or re-read the sentences for clarity. It's good to read difficult books sometimes, but all the time would be utterly discouraging and overwhelming. So I'd say read books AT or ABOVE his current level together and let him read books slightly below his level during naptime or free time. Christian still gets books well below his level in non-fiction. But he absorbs so much information because he doesn't have to spend time deciphering. Also make sure you are SEVERELY limiting any screen time. This is vital.

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That sounds good.

 

I had to laugh at this because I always think of that rule, "i" before "e" except after "c", and know how to spell "ancient" and "efficient", but never even realized it doesn't follow that rule!...It's funny how you take things for granted and don't even notice some things...

 

We restarted working again today...We had a long day, but got through it...

 

Thanks so much again for all of this great advice...We are focusing on the eesentials and starting where he is instead of trying to get him ahead...We still did our MOH and Elemental Science, but we spent more time on our Rod and Staff remedial workbook and MM Blue Series...I bought the ones (MM Blue) that covers the things he still has trouble with...We are also going through Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading to fill in the phonics gaps...We did copywork from the science book...

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... (and be forewarned that there will be a time when your ds is 13 or so that he will seem to have no higher brain functions).

 

This is an aside, but thank you for this! I have a 14-year-old and he's driving me insane with his content-and-logic-free teenaged brain. I must remember that he's just being a teenager; it's not that I've failed him in some major way.

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In case it helps, last year I started my 9yo right at the beginning of AAS alongside my youngest. He has moved through it much faster than his little brother, but he still needed to get that phonics/spelling connection. AAS would cover phonics and spelling, killing 2 birds with one stone and saving time. As far as pace of progression through the levels - let your son's mastery of the material be your guide.

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I don't have any advice. My 7th grader ds is so behind it scares me :eek:.

 

He reads and comprehends at grade level which I'm so thankful for. He struggled with reading but finally took off the summer before his 5th grade year.

 

Writing is so-so. I'm starting him this year (next week) with Easy Classical's Writing with History. It uses IEW and I really want to focus on outlining and such.

 

Spelling- he spells at a 3rd grade level and I am seeing improvement this year. I am finding that he needs to take writing words slow so he can think about the rule. For instance he will write 'mack' instead of 'make' in a sentence. I'll show him the word and ask him to read the word how he spelled it to me and he'll say, "Mack, oh, it should be spelled m-a-k-e." I've asked him to take his time and slow down.

Currently we are working our way through Phonics Pathway. I am writing the rules on index cards and have him review the rules three times a week. Hopefully next year he will use Soaring with Spelling.

 

Math; he is so far behind (this is the part that :eek: me). He was using MUS did Alpha, Beta and Gamma. He wasn't ready for Delta, so we back tracked to Beta and Gamma (meaning he was still not getting it because he would miss almost half or more of the problems). Last school year I switched him to math mammoth 3. He completed it but still not progressing. This year I tried Bob Jones 4 and again he's not going anywhere. The decimals and fractions he just doesn't get. He can do multiplication and subtraction better now without missing so many (thanks to Spectrum workbooks).

As of today, he is working through Spectrum 3rd grade workbook and I have 4th, 5th and 6th sitting on the shelf. My goal is for him to work through them this year. Instead of playing 'catch-up' I decided to meet him where he's at.

This month I'm also going to start him on the Key to series using Christopherus Math 4th Grade (it's Waldorf program though :)).

 

One thing I have noticed about Josh and he knows it as well; he can't take too much information at once his brain goes into overload. He actually will start breathing funny (like hyper ventilating but not quiet).

Another observations is when information enters his brain, it scatters. The best way I can describe it is the info. doesn't take a straight path, it winds and turns (think spaghetti noodles) so Josh, gets confused.

Math programs like MM and Singapore don't work for him. He actually told me that they really confuse him. He needs something more straight forward and traditional like Saxon, R&S etc.

I even had him take a self portrait test online and it confirmed that textbooks are what work best for him. Josh, needs things orderly in his life. Textbooks provide that for him. Everything needs to be organized and orderly, this overflows into his every day life as well (at times it drives me batty).

 

When he was younger and learning phonics, all the rules were too much for him and it was hard for him to 'hear' all the vowel sounds. Just now he finally understands the difference between the 'short' and 'long' vowels. He can read at grade level but still learning the rules.

 

Josh, loves to learn, it's just hard for him. In fact he saw the book "How to Tutor" on my night stand and asked if he could read it.

 

He is academically below his grade level but I still consider him in 7th grade. Having the 'grade' name makes things easier when we are out in public.

 

*Also wanted to add that, Josh loves to read. He also enjoys learning the meaning of words. I have purchase Wordly Wise on audio so he can listen to it (it's not part of school, he does this on his own time). All my children love audio books too. He wants to learn Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Spanish.

One of his favorite subjects is math, even though it's very difficult for him he still like it. He loves to learn and has a great attitude and again, I'm so thankful for this. He doesn't give up. I thank the Lord for homeschooling because he's not labeled anything, he is not in 'special' education classes.

That is our story :tongue_smilie:

Edited by Homeschooling6
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One way to 'catch up' is to school pretty much continuously. That doesn't mean that you overload every single day. It does mean that you school through the summer, and maybe spread out a week's work over six days but have one of those days be Saturday. What this does is backs off on the overwhelmingness of trying to cover too much too fast (each day) to catch up. It also eliminates the usual need for review after long summer breaks, meaning that you can often skip a bunch of lessons or skim them, at the beginning of each math or grammar text, for instance. Also you end up just plain having more school days in a year, so even if they are a bit lighter than 'normal', you should get further.

 

I would also suggest separating math facts from math. Get another program for the facts--we used Quartermile Math, and it was just great. That is a mind game. Instead of being an overwhelming 2 hour ordeal, math is two subjects--facts for 20 minutes, and instruction and homework for 1 1/2 hours per day.

 

The other thing that can't possibly be overstated is the value of reading aloud advanced books. This improves comprehension, vocabulary, and writing. If you add in discussion, this process will leapfrog him even faster in those areas. Base a good portion of your writing assignments on this reading, and you'll be efficient as well. WTM has an excellent description of how to conduct a literary discussion at this level, and of what kinds of papers to write.

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One thing I have noticed about Josh and he knows it as well; he can't take too much information at once his brain goes into overload. He actually will start breathing funny (like hyper ventilating but not quiet).

Another observations is when information enters his brain, it scatters. The best way I can describe it is the info. doesn't take a straight path, it winds and turns (think spaghetti noodles) so Josh, gets confused.

 

This makes me think of a thread on the boards about *working memory*. If I remember correctly, the discussion compared it to a conveyor belt on an assembly line, and the child can only assemble so much at a time. If the conveyor belt goes too fast, things start to fall off, and of course, are lost in the assembly. This made sense to me, and I've been trying to study more about it.

 

I can't find the specific thread for a link, but I'm sure the Special Needs board has someone who understands it much better than I. Not that this is the problem for the OP, but your post about your ds made me think of the whole *working memory* discussion that I read here.

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This makes me think of a thread on the boards about *working memory*. If I remember correctly, the discussion compared it to a conveyor belt on an assembly line, and the child can only assemble so much at a time. If the conveyor belt goes too fast, things start to fall off, and of course, are lost in the assembly. This made sense to me, and I've been trying to study more about it.

 

I can't find the specific thread for a link, but I'm sure the Special Needs board has someone who understands it much better than I. Not that this is the problem for the OP, but your post about your ds made me think of the whole *working memory* discussion that I read here.

 

Thank you, I'll do a search.

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Josh, loves to learn, it's just hard for him. In fact he saw the book "How to Tutor" on my night stand and asked if he could read it.

 

He is academically below his grade level but I still consider him in 7th grade. Having the 'grade' name makes things easier when we are out in public.

 

He loves to learn and has a great attitude and again, I'm so thankful for this. He doesn't give up. I thank the Lord for homeschooling because he's not labeled anything, he is not in 'special' education classes.

That is our story :tongue_smilie:

 

This is very encouraging...Thanks so much for sharing...I am thankful for homeschooling as well :)...

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  • 1 month later...

I know this is a bit old, but I just wanted to say I have followed your blog for a long time and you are amazingly creative. I love your blog! :001_smile:

 

I'm glad that I found this when I was searching for this very subject. We started WTM, then Waldorf, then unschooled for about 6 months, then back to Waldorf. My kids got so far behind. Which is horrible since they started off so advanced. We also used MUS and I am ashamed at how far behind on some things they are. My breaking point was when my daughter broke down trying to do a simple subtraction problem that came up one day. I decided then to drop Waldorf as my kids were unhappy, unchallenged, and getting far behind.

 

But they're catching up! We've been really focused on more intensive curriculums and they are ahead in some subjects, though still suffering through math. So good luck! I hope it's working out for you!

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